Volunteer - New Bedford Whaling Museum


Donating your time, interests, and enthusiasm at the NBWM is an opportunity to learn, teach, and connect as you explore the whaling industry and the unique history of New Bedford.


Are you a Volunteer? Access your portals below.

Volunteer Website | Volunteer SIGN IN
Do you want to Volunteer?



Volunteer Training Program

Whaling Museum volunteers positively impact the lives of thousands of people every year, while helping the Museum ignite learning and advance the understanding of the whaling industry and the unique history of New Bedford. And they have fun doing it! 

Anyone interested in sharing their time, knowledge, and enthusiasm is encouraged to register for a 8-part, once-weekly Volunteer Training Program.

Volunteer Museum Docent

The New Bedford Whaling Museum seeks motivated and engaging community members who share a love of the South Coast region, teaching, and learning to join its Docent program. Docents are Museum guides and educators that carry out the Museum’s mission to ignite learning through art, history, science and culture. Our education programs are geared towards K-12 students with a goal to teach our local history and today's science through hands-on learning and discussion-based discovery. Docents help connect and teach a wide variety of audiences using museum galleries, exhibitions, and artifacts.

As a Volunteer you will:

  • Become apart of our Volunteer & Museum Community
  • Meet new & interesting people
  • Promote & share the history of New Bedford
  • Connect & ignite learning within a diverse audience 
  • Receive lifelong professional learning opportunities
  • Receive Museum member Benefits & discounts

The Museum will:

  • Provide a 6 week professional training course to teach you everything you will need to be successful
  • Provide ongoing supportive training 
  • Ask you to establish a regular schedule for participating as a docent
  • Welcome you into our Community 

Anyone interested in sharing their time, knowledge, and enthusiasm is encouraged to register for a 8-part, once-weekly Volunteer Training Program.

Our Next Volunteer Training Program will begin in early 2024, please continue to check back for updated dates and times. We appreciate your interest in the Museum and would love to invite you to visit or become a member today!

Why do you enjoy being a Volunteer at the Whaling Museum?

Testimonials from our Volunteers

Susan G.

“I love working at the Whaling Museum and appreciate the opportunities and experiences that have been afforded me over the past 14 years of serving as a docent. Not only have I gotten to meet and interact with fascinating people from all over the world, but have formed close friendships with other volunteers whose interests and mine are both similar and widely diverse. The  museum training we get in science, art, and local history is thorough and comprehensive and helps to keep one’s mind sharp and  active. In addition, the perks are many, including special invitations to gallery openings, lectures and art exhibits.” – Susan G.

David B.

“Volunteering at the Museum is all I hoped it would be… I love working in a well-run, dynamic organization with interesting and friendly colleagues. The Museum challenges me to learn, and allows me to indulge my love for teaching and acting.” – David B.

Maureen M.

“Watching the faces of the young children as they see the whale skeletons for the first time and to see their eyes widen in amazement is such a joy! And to be able to give them information that they can relate to and understand is so very rewarding.” – Maureen M.

Louisa M.

“It is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had since retiring from teaching. Being new to the area, this opportunity has given me a wonderful perspective on the South Coast and the rich history of this part of the state. The volunteer work is very rewarding and it’s also a learning experience. Each time I volunteer, I learn something new or interesting from the other docents, volunteers, staff, and the wonderful visitors to our museum. I have also made some great new friends. I would highly recommend volunteering for the museum.” – Louisa M.

Sylvia M.

“When I signed up to be a volunteer,  little did I know how it was going to broaden my lifestyle. The museum has been an extended family for me. Not only have I learned so much about our history, but found that giving tours, especially to the children, has been so gratifying.  It really has been one of the best decisions I have made.” – Sylvia M.

0217.2.23 kids and docent in whale